Sometimes it seems like Houston restaurateurs woke up a couple years ago and realized that people north of I-10 like to eat and drink too. From El Gran Malo to Cottonwood to the revitalized Corkscrew wine bar, Heights-adjacent neighborhoods like Oak Forest and Timbergrove are finally getting their delicious due.
The latest eatery among the numbered streets in Crisp, which opened at the beginning of November and offers wine, craft beer and a focused menu that features thin-crust pizzas on white or wheat dough — from the Blue Southern Belle with gorgonzola, peaches, arugula, basil and Texas Sweet Tea syrup to the San Fran North Beach, covered with tomato sauce, pepperoni, rosemary ham, fennel seed sausage, green olives, chili flakes and cherry tomatoes — plus salads, sandwiches and some traditional American-style entrees like beer can chicken and beef short ribs.
With 24 craft beers on tap (including several locals) and a sizeable wine list, Crisp seems well poised to bridge the gap that's emerged between the two drinks.
With 24 craft beers on tap (including several locals) and a sizeable wine list, Crisp seems well poised to bridge the gap that's emerged between the two drinks. There's even a retail component that sells and refills growlers and offers any wine on the list to-go for 20 percent off. There's also an enomatic wine system, so guests can add money onto a tasting card and get individual tastes in one-, three- or five-ounce pours before settling on a bottle.
Though it looks a little generic from the outside, the 6,000-square-foot open interiors are set apart by a large wood-framed central bar and exposed brick walls that date to the building's former life as the long-abandoned Shady Grocery. Crisp is owned by the team behind Pub Fiction, Shot Bar and Celtic Gardens and compared to some of the other new establishments nearby it feels less personal and more formulaic: x taps + y repurpursed old building + z servers with old timey mustaches = cool bar.
Still, it seems like a winning formula as of late. As far as neighborhood haunts go, this Timbergrove version looks like it has some promise.